The one million people expected to pack themselves into New York's Times Square on New Year's Eve will be guarded by probably the biggest ever security operation of its kind.
Around 6,000 police officers, some of them equipped with sniper rifles, radiation-detecting equipment and bomb-sniffing dogs, will be on duty as the revellers see in 2016 by watching the famous 11,875-lb Times Square ball drop.
The heightened security comes amid ongoing concerns about the threat of attacks from groups such as Isis, as well as individuals in the US who may have been radicalised to one cause or another.
The efforts in New York are one of countless such operations around the world. In London, additional armed officers have been drafted in to boost security.
Nevertheless, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city was better prepared to handle an attack than anywhere else in the country.
“The eyes of the world will be on us,” he said earlier this week. “We’re ready.”
The New York Police Department and the FBI have unveiled security plans, including a series of multilayered checkpoints. People will enter via one of 14 points where officers will inspect bodies and bags with magnetometers and hand wands.
NBC said that counterterrorism officers with chemical and radiation detectors will be standing by, and a long gun team will be stationed 50 yards away
After getting through that screening, people will be re-screened when they get to one of 65 massive spectator pens. They will see K-9 cops, heavy weapons teams and emergency service officers.
“We are very very confident that New Year's Eve in New York City will be the safest place in the world to be,” said Chief James Waters, who is in charge of counterterrorism operations for the police department.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said investigators have been monitoring intelligence channels for anything that would suggest Times Square could be a target.
“We are not aware of any threat at this time that we deem credible,” he said.Reuse content